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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 September, 2004, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Silent tribute for UK rider
Caroline Pratt competing
Caroline Pratt had expressed concern over the course
One minute's silence has been held for a rider killed at the Burghley Horse Trials on Saturday.

Caroline Pratt, 42, of Middlewich, Cheshire, was fatally hurt when her horse Primitive Streak fell on her at fence 26 at the Lincolnshire course.

She was taken to Peterborough District Hospital where she later died. Pratt was one of Britain's top riders and was on the long list for the Olympic team.

An investigation has been launched into her death.

Burghley Horse Trials chairman Major Malcolm Wallace said: "Caroline had already ridden the course once, without penalties and was going well - again without penalties - when her horse fell.

She never at any stage expressed any concern as to the safety aspect of the course
Riders' representative Eric Smiley

"According to the fence judges her horse appeared to be in good shape when it approached the obstacle and this was borne out by the veterinary monitoring reports as she progressed around the course," he added.

Riders' representative Eric Smiley paid tribute to Pratt. He said: "We as riders are devastated by Caroline's death.

"She was a rider of the utmost skill and we knew her well."

He said Pratt and a number of other riders had expressed concern about "one or two minor aspects of the course".

But he said: "She never at any stage expressed any concern as to the safety aspect of the course."

BBC correspondent Philippa Young said the riders were concerned the soft going on the course would mean their horses would tire quickly.

'Tough' course

The organisers said the conditions were not extreme enough to justify any radical changes, but did agree to move rope boundaries to open up better ground.

Olympic gold medal winner Leslie Law said the Burghley course was tough.

He said: "It was always going to be a tough challenge.

"A 13-minute cross country course is probably a near maximum cross country course.

"The jumps were fair but the length of the course - and probably with the ground having been quite wet and drying out - made it quite sort of tacky going."

He added: "I think in any sport you get mistakes and accidents."




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